Germany Forum 2016: Banks are not antagonists

Banks should be viewed as potential partners on transactions rather than antagonists in the European mid-market was the consensus view at the PDI Germany Forum taking place today.  

While private debt funds have seized on the opportunities to lend as banks forced into retreat following the introduction of restrictions on lending since the global financial crisis, certain funds are reliant on bank's intelligence of future transactions.

Jürgen Breuer, head of Germany, Austria and Switzerland at Pemberton, said that the view at the firm is that having a “symbiotic relationship” with the banks rather than an “antagonistic” one is preferable. He revealed that 50 percent of the firm's deals originate from banks, who are unable to provide capital assistance needed by their clients.

“It helps that we have a like-minded approach to the banks. We have a team of ex-bankers with an average of 20 years experience in the market,” he said.

Abhik Das, principal at BlueBay Asset Management, echoed Breuer's thoughts, adding that fund managers and investors should be suspicious of a narrative that banks are no longer lending. Co-operation, he said, is important and that banks are “able to provide a revolving credit facility and maintain that relationship with their client [with assistance from the private debt fund]”.

Earlier in the day, Zia Uddin, managing director at Monroe Capital, said that banks are potential teammates in transactions, but noted that where debt funds can compete “is on the structuring of a deal”.